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The purpose of this study was to implement Capstone Design to a business English course to develop intercultural communicative competence in college English learners of Korea. Data sources were from communicative needs analysis of business professionals and the pre-and post set of a questionnaire survey on intercultural communicative competence. Interviews and surveys were conducted from business professionals (N=5) and student participants (N=30) respectively. SPSS was used for data analyses. The findings from the study are summarized as 1) business professionals put stress on respect for cultural difference and the development of productive English skills to be successful in business communication, 2) the Capstone Design based business English course is regarded as effective, since it allows learners to maintain and establish a complex relationship, which is crucial to business success, 3) Among factors to measure the intercultural communicative competence, 3 factors, respect for cultural difference, interaction confidence, and interaction attentiveness had significantly increased throughout the instruction. Lastly, instructional implications for the classroom and suggestions for further research were also discussed.
This paper explores how Korean EFL learners perceive the four native varieties of English, namely British English (BrE), American English (AmE), Australian English (AusE) and Canadian English (CE). An experimental study with 121 undergraduate students in Korea was conducted. Adopting the indirect approach, survey questions employed in the experiment include adjectives, phrases or verbs, corresponding to three dimensions of attitudes: (1) dynamism (awareness, confidence) (2) status (superiority/privileged) and (3) solidarity (preference, favor). The collected data were analyzed according to frequency count, and two different ANOVAs. Results indicate that Korean EFL learners are likely to have recognized that one privileged English accent exists (Status) and they prefer a particular native variety of English accents (Solidarity). They show a less agreeable or less confident attitude, however, in their self-reported English accent identification level (Dynamism). In the English accent identification task, participants demonstrate better performance in recognizing BrE and AmE better than others (Dynamism: Awareness, Preference). Further comparisons are delivered in two conditions: gender and English proficiency level. Findings call for the properties of various English accents to be included in the learning materials or stimuli for students. In this way what is taught and learned will correspond to the present WE context.
This study examines whether second language (L2) learners of English have difficulty in processing two types of English oblique relative clauses (RCs) with different lengths of filler-gap dependency (FGD). Traditional comparison (subject RC vs. object RC) is problematic due to the uncontrolled animacy of the head nouns. Therefore, this study used the oblique RCs to test a pure length effect between the filler and the gap when L2 learners read sentences with oblique RCs, involving two types of RCs: (1) oblique RCs with short FGDs; (2) oblique RCs with long FGDs. The study examines the comprehension accuracy and total reading times of 27 L2 learners of English. They all read 16 critical sentences with 32 filler items in a self-paced reading task. The results supported the distance effect because Both high-(N=13) and intermediate-proficiency (N=14) groups spend longer reading times in processing oblique RCs with long FGDs than oblique RCs with short FGDs. These results indicate the distance effect of the FGD; greater length between the filler and the gap result in L2 processing difficulty.
The current research is aimed at exploring the relationship between individual learning styles and the focus on form learning. To establish learning styles, four modalities―visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic styles―were employed. For the focus on form learning, implicit and explicit learning modes were adopted. A total of 110 Korean 11th grade high school students participated in this study. They were randomly divided into four conditions: (1) more implicit, (2) less implicit, (3) more explicit, and (4) less explicit. Then, the participants undertook pre- and post-grammatical judgment tasks, followed by a VARK questionnaire (Fleming, 2001) to determine their preferred learning styles. The results indicated that the Korean EFL learners preferred kinesthetic learning the most (37.3%), followed by aural (30%), read/write (20%), and visual (14.5%) learning modalities. In addition, a two-way ANOVA revealed that it was not the learning styles but the two learning conditions that created the primary effect on the students’ target form learning. In addition, between the implicit and explicit learning modes, the explicit condition played a significant role in the students’ target form learning. Along with the interactions between implicit and explicit learning, some pedagogical implications were addressed.
While single word items have more often been the unit of interest for second language (L2) vocabulary learning, there has been less attention paid to how L2 learners may demonstrate knowledge of collocations. L2 high school learners were asked to retrieve collocations according to different degrees of congruency (i.e., incongruent vs. congruent) that are shared between L1 and L2 collocations. For this purpose, a receptive collocation test (RCT), counterbalanced for incongruent and congruent collocations, and adjective-noun (AN) and verb-noun (VN) collocations, was developed by matching normalized frequencies of the collocation items from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). The 133 high school sophomores were found to have more problems with the incongruent collocations than with the congruent items. However, correct responses were more frequent for the incongruent VN collocations than those of the congruent VN collocations. The results demonstrate that synonymous collocates can also be the source of problems in learning collocations. The study also empirically demonstrates that L2 proficiency is the foundation for development of collocational knowledge. Implications on teaching collocations are presented in light of the obtained results.
North Korean refugees often struggle to adapt to the ultracompetitive educational environment of South Korea, and many have difficulties learning the English language. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to learn more about the English language experiences of North Korean refugee students in South Korean universities. The 15 participants in this study were North Korean refugees in their twenties who have lived in South Korea for at least 3 years. An initial study examined the educational experiences of North Korean refugees during premigration (in North Korea), transmigration (on the new underground railroad), and postmigration (in South Korea). In the initial study, four types of data were collected including a demographic questionnaire, a timeline of major life experiences, standardized interviews, and journal entry responses. The original study did not focus on English language experiences in South Korea, but many participants elaborated on this concept. A follow-up study using standardized, open-ended interviews was conducted to focus more on the English language experiences of the participants. Results indicate that the participants have experienced immense challenges with the English language, especially in terms of preparing for the Test of English for International Communication. Practical implications and participant recommendations are also provided.
This study explores the learnability of English dative alternation by Korean EFL learners at intermediate levels by examining whether they are aware of the syntax and semantic constraints on English ditransitive verbs. Analysis of essays revealed the students’ strong propensity to use prepositional dative constructions more often than double object forms. Such a finding can be interpreted due to Korean postpositions, -eykey and ulwihay, as counterparts of to and for in English respectively. The results of the AJT to examine the participants’ sensitivity to semantic constraint were obviously contrasted between licit and illicit forms. As for licit forms, the accuracy in goal verbs was much higher than that in benefactive ones; however, in terms of illicit forms, the result was completely opposite. Different semantic properties between L1 and L2 on ditransitive verb types are assumed to make L2 learners have difficulties in narrowing down the semantic value scope by positive evidence only, especially in benefactive ones. Based on the Subset Principle (Berwick, 1985) and the Tolerance Principle (Yang, 2005, 2016), such results suggest providing L2 learners with more opportunities to encounter L2 input in consideration of distributional properties of it to make them gradually retreat from overgeneralization on English dative alternation.
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